Relationships

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Posted 10/8/15 at 10:27 PM | Karen Kramer

Wrong Again

Dressed haphazardly and sitting on a tall suitcase, she looked homeless, so I avoided her—missing the chance to meet a woman with an inspiring message. That’s a story for another time….but it reminded me of a lesson I should have learned long ago.

Mom liked exposing me to people, places, and activities that would broaden my teenage mind. In her view, I had no right to an opinion that wasn’t backed by a written expert (she was a librarian, after all).

This was a woman who built her own log cabin—by first reading a book of course.

At the time, I didn’t share her love of books, so she made sure I visited museums and watched documentaries, but it was her unusual adventures I remember most….like meeting Jake on the bookmobile.

As the library bookmobile traveled along the remotest parts of the Olympic Peninsula, the oddest assortment of people emerged from the woods, but Mom seemed to really know them. She asked about their family situations with genuine interest. It was like these woods people were actual friends. FULL POST

Posted 10/8/15 at 9:21 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why You May Not Want To Marry a Preacher

“Do not be unequally yoked…” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (a reference to Deuteronomy 22:10 where Israel is told not to plow with a team composed of an ox and a donkey).

We all agree that Scripture teaches believers should not marry unbelievers.

But, would it be an unequal yoke for one called into the ministry to be wed to a Christian who resents his calling and resists the demands that this life places on her?

Surely we can agree that not everyone should marry a preacher.

(The obligatory disclaimer: In our denomination, preachers are men. I know some women pastors in other denominations and respect them very much. But I know nothing of the pressures they face. Thus, for me to write for their situation would be highly presumptuous. Please do not write accusing me of sexism or prejudice against women. Thank you.)

When I began this list a few days ago, mostly I intended it as a light-hearted piece since I’m a preacher and love pastors and their families. Any woman who marries a called servant of the Lord should feel special to Him, I’m thinking, and she needs to know what she’s getting into. And then, I decided to ask for help. FULL POST

Posted 10/4/15 at 9:54 AM | Veronica Philips

The Harvest

The Harvest :)

 As I sit on the couch, with a mug of coffee, I look out my North facing Bay window, and see with excitement that The Harvest has begun. I don't know why I like watching it. Maybe it's the window. When Old Man Winter finally arrives, I can watch him with anticipation as he sweeps down the plains of the Midwest, and right into my front door.....I only like Winter to the 1st storm, then I'm over it, but the Fall...The Harvest, the Reaping of the Spring Labor ... is Spiritual to me. It reminds me of Kingdom Key to Life #7. You will ALWAYS reap in the Harvest, what you sow in the Spring.

The month of October is special for me because 27 years ago I met the person who'd forever teach me the Key. I harshly learned to guard the heart entrusted to me, as purposely as I'd want my heart guarded. After the combines have completed their work, the Sower will look to the next season, by preparing the fields, for another crop. Our life is no different. We must constantly prepare for another season. What would have happened had I told that young man, "No" after he asked out? Well, I may not have learned to be kind to others.....for a broken heart is a painful lesson, and one we're not too likely to repeat. It devastates me to know that I was responsible for that pain in others.....sigh....age is a true measure of wisdom. I'm old ;) FULL POST

Posted 10/1/15 at 11:06 AM | Audra Jennings

What Friendship Looks Like in the Midst of Difficult Circumstances

Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn
David C Cook

While your heart might be in the right place, it is not unusual to feel uncomfortable or insecure when you’re around loved ones who are in the midst of a trial. The temptation to back away can be strong; after all, couldn’t they use some space? You don’t want to be a burden. Is that ever the right choice though? Is there something both of you can gain from friendship in the midst of suffering?

Bestselling author Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn answer those questions in the new book Just Show Up: the Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together (David C Cook/ October 1, 2015/ISBN: 978-1434709530/$15.99). With grace and practical advice, the friends wrote about what relationships look like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry and even Tippetts’ battle with cancer, which she tragically lost on March 22, 2015.

As Tippetts walked the road of cancer, learning to receive offers of help from friends — and the vulnerability that comes along with it — was sometimes an uncomfortable journey for everyone involved. Yet, she discovered an astounding depth of relationship with women who wanted to walk with her and her family, including Buteyn, who became one of her closest friends. “We all have tough times, but there’s a beauty that comes in doing the really hard stuff together,” Buteyn reveals. “When I look back on my time with Kara, I see a lot of tears, prayers and pain, but I also see grace and even peace. It was beautiful to walk with her, even though it hurt so much. It still hurts. But I would choose her all over again.”

Buteyn faced her own challenges as she reached out to Tippetts and her family. Maintaining friendships can be difficult even on the best of days, and troubles compound relational challenges. For Buteyn, it was hard at times to know what to say or do, and there were moments when her words sounded awkward and hollow. Along the way, though, Tippetts and Buteyn both discovered ways to meet each other in the “hard.” The book offers insightful chapters full of wisdom about the gift of silence, the art of receiving and the beauty of just showing up.

“Presence is so important in suffering because sometimes that’s really all we have to offer,” Buteyn admits. “We don’t have the right words or there isn’t anything we can do to help. Sometimes it is just about being there.” In addition to sage advice born from experience, Just Show Up offers practical tips, such as what clichés to avoid, why it’s important to be specific in your offers of help and how to avoid making your friend’s pain all about you.

Whether readers want to be present with someone going through a difficult time or find inspiration for pursuing friendship in a new way, this eloquent book reveals the power found in being present during the everyday as well as the terribly hard — and reaching out to others, no matter what.

Learn more about the life of Kara Tippetts at www.mundanefaithfulness.com. For more information about Jill Lynn Buteyn and Just Show Up at www.jill-lynn.com and on Facebook (JillLynnAuthor), Pinterest (JillLynnAuthor), Instagram (JillLynnAuthor) and Twitter (@JillLynnAuthor).

About the Authors

Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn, authors of Just Show Up
Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. Cancer was only a part of Tippett’s story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Learn more about the life of Kara Tippetts at www.mundanefaithfulness.com or follow the site on Facebook (mundanefaithfulness).

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University. Buteyn lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Learn more about Jill Lynn Buteyne and Just Show Up at www.jill-lynn.com and on Facebook (JillLynnAuthor), Pinterest (JillLynnAuthor), Instagram (JillLynnAuthor) and Twitter (@JillLynnAuthor).

Posted 9/30/15 at 8:03 AM | Veronica Philips

An Attitude of Gratitude

Veronica Philips
To be Grateful, is to be Humble. Give God the Glory, He'll give back to you.
Having an Attitude of Gratitude is necessary if one wants to be the next Carrie Brawshaw (smile). I had a friend who complimented me on one of my articles, and I told her, "Oh, it wasn't my best work". Well, when you compare my work to the likes of Hemmingway, or Collins (may she rest in peace), it wasn't, but the beauty of writing is the more one does is, the better one gets. Why I earth would I write off the ones who compliment me? We remember the criticisms don't we? Realizing I had done this, I had to ask myself, "Why do we deny ourselves praise"?It's a false sense of humility that won't allow us to accept compliments. In reality, we're doing nothing more than denying "our" God His Due. If you've ever sacrificed ANYTHING for your craft, you deserve the praise when offered. You deserve it, because you've EARNED IT. It becomes obnoxious when you do it ONLY for the purposes of receiving praise. If you're proud of what you've accomplished, it's acceptable to receive the compliment, then send it back out...in your creation. By accepting the Affirmation offered, you're acknowledging the worthiness of the person giving the compliment. Remember, by denying them their say in your work, you are denying them, and frankly, success is achieved one person, one notice, at at time. It doesn't make you less humble to accept a "job well done" it makes you grateful...and remember....to be grateful is to be humble. Okay, gotta go. I slept in a recliner all night. Pediatric Asthma has reared it's ugly head, but I'm glad and grateful to do it. Duchess slept like a baby....it was worth it. I got some kinks to work out. Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Wednesday.

Posted 9/29/15 at 7:29 PM | Karen Kramer

Sex With Zero Commitment

Screen shot from Tinder

From tender-hearted love to Tinder-partnered sex. That’s what it’s like today. Just get a Tinder phone app and you can find a willing partner—there are 50 million singles on Tinder, and 100 million singles on other hook-up type smart phone apps.

But make no mistake the partners you find on Tinder aren’t the 19th Century courtship partners that could lead to marriage. Nor are they like the 20th Century dating partners that could lead to a “committed relationship”.

No, welcome to the online, 21st Century smart phone app hook-up partner. Sex with zero commitment. In a sound-byte generation, with texting as the preferred mode of communication, the ideal of building a real relationship as a precursor to sex doesn’t make any sense. Why bother?

As one woman on Tinder explains, “There is no dating. There’s no relationships…[Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.” FULL POST

Posted 9/28/15 at 8:43 AM | Veronica Philips

Dum Dum......

If Helping and Loving is wrong, I don't want to be right.
One of my favorite television shows of all-time (I still watch it in syndication) is/was Law and Order. Jack McCoy was so liberal, but he did serve to teach me a lesson. When he was faced with a case that flew directly in the face of his catholic Faith, he would have to put aside his Law, and follow Man’s Law. I remember in one particular episode, he argued before the judge, “Your honor, I know that’s the letter of the law, but it is NOT the Spirit of the law”…he won the motion. I sit and think just how profound that statement is going to be, when I have to answer for my actions before The Real Judge, but I do have a good attorney. Would you like his CARD?
When faced with the “perceived” contradictions of the Bible, we will often revert to what’s comfortable and known to us, as “The Law”. The Law states that certain actions are unlawful. It’s in black, white, however, it also states that God loves us so much….so much…so very, very much….that He wants us to err on the side of caution, in loving each other, HE will deal with the offense. In other words, The Big Picture is more about showing our love and less about our “citizens” arrest of each other. When I get to heaven and I have to sit before Him, my defense is simply going to be, “I didn’t know I couldn’t do that”. Like McCoy arguing his point in court, my point is going to rest more on the Spirit, than the Letter. Is that wrong? I don’t know. I really don’t, but I can’t believe that defending the strippers, the homosexuals, the thieves, the potty word sayer, the adulteress, the poor women faced with the most heart-wrenching decisions of their lives….I cannot believe that defending all of them…..affirming them for the worthy of love beings that they are….is going to be wrong. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not affirming their choices, No attorney affirms choices, I’m affirming THEM….which I think…Jesus did too…but I can’t be sure ☺ Okay, enough. The Bible is black and white, but look closely and you’ll see RED, the words of Christ Himself. There is more insight in those words, than any other part of the Book. I’ll guess we’ll see what happens, when I go to court, but know this, I’d rather take my chances with the Judge than the jury. Sometimes, they DO get it wrong. Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Monday.

Posted 9/25/15 at 7:35 AM | Veronica Philips

I Don't Like Autumn, But I Serve Him!

canstockphoto
I don't like Autumn
I saw the 1st spider of the season last night on the back porch, and isn’t it fortunate that Merrill had returned home earlier in the day? I don’t enjoy the death of a spider because they way I see it, they’re just trying to make their own bones…they’re a HUSTLER in a PIMP world…I respect that. See, it isn’t the harvest, the moon, the colors that signal the early beginnings of the autumn season…it’s the arachnids and their attempt to come into my home and do their deed all over my floors. Spiced pumpkin pie be darned, the ONLY good thing about winter is that those creepy, crawly jackwagons are either dead, or deep in sleep. That reminds me….there’s a Wolfie waiting for me at a clients house this morning. I’m not sure which to quit first…my Faith…or my job.
There is a trapped spider awaiting my arrival at a clients this am, and I am NOT THE ONE who will be removing the carcass…Merrill is. I marveled last night, that had it been a snake, I would have been right over, but my Superwoman kryptonite is spiders. I accepted that a long time ago. The season in which we find ourselves is their “Carnival”, or ”Mardi Gras” (if you will) and I watch those little jerks parading their way across my back porch celebrating yet another opportunity to come into my house and make crazy spider love….their little hairy spiders legs all intertwined in sinful spider grasping….it sickens me. I’m only hoping that my last hope, Duchess isn’t scared of them, but at the rate she’s going…..hey wait! Where’d all the frogs go? Ya know, up until last night, I had a back porch full of little warty toads……I’ll bet, like some Stephen King Novel, the spiders did something nefarious with them…Great…..Now I have frog killing spiders to worry about…..this is gonna be a bad day. Sigh. It’s gonna be an early Fall, and a bad Winter…Mr. Woolly Worm told me that a few days ago; which as a digression, he disappeared too….DAMN......it’s worse than I thought. When you seek to serve Him, He will test you....I don't appreciate it Daddy......not one bit! Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Friday.

Posted 9/22/15 at 7:47 AM | Veronica Philips

Each One Teach One...

Deaf are the Ears that wears the Crown.
Ya know, it wasn’t the Gay Pride Parades, the Rainbows, or the talk shows that changed my mind. It wasn’t the books, the Christian Pastors, nor the Media….that made me take a second look and then change my stance on Gay Marriage. For all that there was going on in society at the time, from the Aides epidemic of the 80’s to the Civil Union struggles of this decade, I maintained the Christian Authority that Homosexuality was WRONG…and I took the moral high road that, “I’ll be your friend, but I won’t support your life”. I couldn’t have been more arrogant if I had wore a crown. In the end, it was one person. One small, (not so quite) person who shared with me her story of humiliation, and any moral Superiority I had felt before went out the window. I realized that Jesus may not have encountered a gay man (Gosh I wish He had of), but the Bible is CLEAR in what we must do….. we must LOVE…..DUH. Except….we’re not going to talk about THAT….:)
How I changed from my Saulian stance toward the Homosexual Community to the Liberal, Left-leaning jerk I am today is nothing extraordinary. The woman I call friend, share me the tale of the day she was brutally outted, then ousted from a Sunday Service. It pissed me off. In hindsight, I marveled at how one person, brought down my Goliath Stronghold. Then I realized that that’s how we change the world. You don’t have to agree with my ideals, I actually don’t care, but the way to change society is to change one person, and that journey that begins with one set of willing ears. I may not clearly understand the Lord’s Will or Stance on Homosexuality but I know what it ISN’T. Shoving the graphic pictures, name calling, political ads, the AM radio DJ’s vying for listenership, the pomp and circumstance of Pastors….NONE of that is going to change a mind. You can show all the graphic ads of animal abuse you want (If you do, I will delete you), but if all your friends are anit-animal abusers…you will reach, and change…no one. Change comes from the heart, but it must first go through the ears, and that starts with the mouth. Each one, teach one…that’s how you bring change….and THAT is how I end this status. Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Tuesday.

Posted 9/15/15 at 8:33 AM | Veronica Philips

If the Devil is in the Details, Whose in the Forest?

If you’re in the middle of the forest, and a tree falls, does it make a sound? Hell you don’t know, you’re too busy trying to find the way out! In the middle of College Algebra last night, Merrill, thinker of all things smart, got up and left me, to watch the MNF game. Can’t judge him….I’ve done the same thing to him with English. I like a good challenge as much as anyone else. I was lost in a maze of numbers that he understood, but I kept saying, “I do it”….forget him, but I NEED him…Darn it.
The Devil is in the Details, or in this case, the forest (my math). Pride sets in when we realize we’re lost, but instead of trusting our rescuers, we decline their help. When he got to heaven, the man said to Jesus, “I trusted you, and I died!” Jesus responded, “I sent you a boat, plane and helicopter, what else did you need?” I get it, we all do it….. It’s hard to see the path out when we have blinders on. I hate that part about our nature, but Satan doesn’t. He sees our pride, raises it with panic, then bets us to keep wandering….keep roaming, when the whole time…the WHOLE time, guides were standing by. Seriously friends, I cannot say to Merrill, “I need you to discipline the boy” then get mad at him when he disciplines him. Trust only goes as far as we allow it. In the Forest, it’s dark and scary, yet we do walk with those whose gone before us, a Woodsy Waze, if you will, our rescue comes from our relinquishment of control…it hurts, but death hurts more….It’s funny how we say to God, “I just need a Word”, He says, “Trust” and we say, “I’m gonna need another Word”.
At an Oldsmobile Leadership Conference, a team building exercise was for us to chose a leader, then blindfold ourselves. We had to trust that the leader would lead us around the obstacles, to the final victory. Those who didn’t trust, hesitated and fell back, those who semi-trusted walked around with their hand out…then there were those who said, “I can’t do any better with this blinder on” and made it to the end….they were then sent back to help the roamers……get it? We have trusted advisors, friends, other family that we can lean on…hold to…follow…to do what’s in our best interest….but we don’t…..because we can’t, and we can’t because pride and fear, two emotions that do NOT come from the Lord, block our view.
What it really boils down to is, do you…or don’t you? Do you trust them or NO? It really IS that black and white. Telling my husband, “I’m going to do this and this and this, you get this little, bitty part of raising YOUR children” is neither productive, fair, righteous, nor complimentary to our partnership. When you’re in too deep, you must trust others to guide you through. Their sight…is far better….than yours. There may come a day, when you’ll lead them out of their forest as well. Okay, gotta go. There’s a MATH mess on the table. Did ya see the tomato’s I canned last night? Yep….didn’t use MATH….FREAKING once….how do you like them Pie’s? Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Tuesday.

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